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Is Just Bare Chicken Bad For You?



Short answer

Just Bare Chicken, known for being antibiotic-free and having no added hormones, is a nutritious protein source with a clean label. The absence of antibiotics aligns with health concerns over antibiotic resistance, and the minimal processing is beneficial for those avoiding additives. However, its vegetable feed may include GMOs, which are considered safe by mainstream science. Processed Just Bare products may contain additives that warrant consideration for health effects. Ethical and environmental practices of the brand also impact consumer choice. Overall, Just Bare Chicken can be a suitable choice for health-conscious individuals when prepared safely and mindfully.



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Long answer

Ingredient Profile of Just Bare Chicken

When assessing the health implications of any food product, one of the fundamental questions concerns the nature of its ingredients. Just Bare Chicken is a brand known for supplying a variety of chicken products ranging from whole chickens to specific cuts such as breast fillets, thighs, and drumsticks. In order to fully understand the nutritional impact of consuming Just Bare Chicken, let's analyze its ingredient profile in detail.

The primary component of Just Bare Chicken is, as expected, chicken. The chicken used in Just Bare Chicken products is advertised as being raised without antibiotics, fed an all-vegetable diet, and given no added hormones or growth stimulants. This is significant, as antibiotic-free chicken lowers the risk of antibiotic resistance, which is a major public health concern, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Moreover, the brand's commitment to no added hormones aligns with USDA regulations, which prohibit the use of hormones in poultry. However, the mention of "vegetable-fed" is worth exploring. While a vegetable diet for chickens might sound healthy, it's important to note that industrial vegetable diets can include corn and soy, which are often genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The discussion around GMOs is complex, but the current scientific consensus, as represented by organizations such as the American Medical Association and the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that GMOs are safe for consumption.

Just Bare Chicken also emphasizes minimally processed products, maintaining a simple and clean ingredient list. This approach is ideal for many health-conscious consumers who seek to avoid overly processed foods and the myriad of additives they often contain. Processed foods can be linked to various health issues, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, as evidenced by a study published in the BMJ in 2019.

From a nutritional standpoint, Just Bare Chicken provides the body with high-quality protein, essential for building and repairing tissues, among other functions. A skinless chicken breast is especially lean and an excellent source of protein with minimal fat. The protein content of chicken can vary slightly depending on the specific cut and preparation, but here is a basic nutritional breakdown for a typical serving of cooked, skinless Just Bare Chicken breast:

Nutrient Amount per 100g % Daily Value*
Calories 165 8%
Total Fat 3.6g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g 0%
Protein 31g 62%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

It's clear that Just Bare Chicken is a nutritious option when it comes to selecting a protein source. Its clean label, uncomplicated ingredients, and commitment to no antibiotics and no added hormones can make it a suitable choice for health-conscious individuals. Bear in mind that the way the chicken is prepared and cooked will also impact the overall nutritional profile, with cooking methods such as grilling, baking, and steaming generally being healthier than frying.

Lastly, consumers should be aware that, as with any meat product, it's important to practice safe handling and cooking to avoid foodborne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure harmful bacteria are destroyed. Selecting a product like Just Bare Chicken can be a positive choice, provided that it's prepared and cooked with attention to food safety guidelines.

Antibiotics and Hormones: Clearing Up Misconceptions

When discussing poultry products such as Just Bare Chicken, concerns about antibiotics and hormone use often arise. It is crucial to clear up common misconceptions in this area to make informed dietary choices.

Firstly, it's important to note that federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising chickens. This means that no chickens, including those sold under the Just Bare brand, are legally allowed to be given hormones. Any claims of "hormone-free" are perhaps well-intentioned but redundant because this is standard practice across the industry.

Antibiotics, however, have historically been used in poultry farming to promote growth and prevent disease in crowded living conditions. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is a significant public health concern. Recognizing this issue, Just Bare has committed to providing chicken that has not been administered antibiotics.

To reassure consumers about their practices, Just Bare Chicken has received certification from the USDA verifying that their chickens are raised without antibiotics. They advertise their chickens as being "No Antibiotics – Ever" (NAE) - which means antibiotics have not been used at any stage, from the hatchery to the processing plant.

Here's what third-party certifications say about the issue:

  • USDA Certification: Just Bare Chicken has the USDA Process Verified label, indicating compliance with specific process claims like NAE (no antibiotics ever).
  • Global Animal Partnership: Just Bare products are also certified by this organization, which requires that no antibiotics be used in the lifecycle of the animal.

It's worth noting that eliminating antibiotics from the raising of chickens doesn't necessarily mean the chickens are "healthier" in a nutritional sense. Instead, it's a reflection of sustainable and responsible farming practices that can reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in humans.

While Just Bare Chicken's commitment to antibiotic-free poultry is commendable, it's important for consumers to remember that cooking chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) is crucial for food safety, regardless of how the chicken was raised.

For those concerned about antibiotic use in their poultry, Just Bare's policies may put some of these concerns to rest. However, it is always advisable to look beyond marketing claims and understand the certifications and regulations that back up such assertions.

Furthermore, consult with food safety and nutrition experts for the latest on antibiotics in poultry farming to ensure that both health and ethical considerations align with your dietary choices.

Additives in Processed Just Bare Products

When determining the nutritional value and safety of processed chicken products, it is crucial to scrutinize the additives they contain. Just Bare Chicken products, like many other brands, often include additives to enhance flavor, extend shelf life, and improve texture. Let's delve into what these additives might be and their potential impacts on health.

Common Additives Found in Processed Chicken

  • Sodium Phosphates: Used to maintain moisture and flavor, sodium phosphates can contribute to a higher sodium intake, which in excess, may lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular issues.
  • Natural Flavorings: While 'natural flavorings' sounds reassuring, this term can encompass a wide range of substances, and the specifics are not always disclosed to consumers. It's important for individuals with food sensitivities to be cautious with these ambiguous ingredients.
  • Sea Salt: Opting for sea salt offers a perception of a healthier product, but it performs the same function as regular salt. High consumption can still lead to increased blood pressure and associated risks.

Potential Health Concerns

Consuming processed foods with added substances can raise several health concerns. It's essential to consider these when incorporating processed Just Bare Chicken products into your diet:

  • Sodium Intake: High levels of additives like sodium phosphates can lead to an increase in overall dietary sodium, which many health organizations suggest limiting to reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
  • Food Sensitivities and Allergies: Non-specific labeling such as 'natural flavorings' can obscure the presence of allergens or irritants which might affect sensitive individuals.
  • Processed Meats and Cancer Risk: The World Health Organization has classified processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen, indicating that there is sufficient evidence that they can increase cancer risk, particularly colorectal cancer.

Research on Additive Safety

Research provides a mixed landscape when it comes to the safety of food additives. A study published in the Journal of Food Science suggests that phosphates, while generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, may not be without risk when consumed in large quantities, especially for those with kidney disease or those at risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study from the BMJ highlighted an association between ultra-processed foods, which contain these types of additives, and increased cancer risk.

In response to these concerns, many health experts advocate for a diet that emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods to mitigate potential risks from additives. When choosing processed chicken products, it is advisable to check labels for the specific additives used and to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Regulatory Perspectives

Food additives are closely regulated by agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. These additives must undergo evaluation and approval before they can be included in food products. However, controversies and ongoing research often challenge the perceived safety of some of these substances, leading to evolving guidelines and recommendations. Consumers are encouraged to stay informed about the latest food safety regulations and recommendations.

It's important to discriminate between Just Bare Chicken's fresh and unprocessed products versus their processed offerings. The former contain no additives, presenting a different nutritional profile compared to its processed counterparts.

Environmental and Ethical Considerations of Just Bare Chicken

When evaluating the health implications of a brand like Just Bare Chicken, it's not only important to consider the nutritional profile of the product but also the environmental and ethical ramifications of its production. These factors can affect consumer choices and indirectly impact public health by shaping the food industry's practices.

Just Bare Chicken prides itself on providing poultry products that are raised without antibiotics and fed an all-vegetable diet. But what does this mean for the environment and the ethics surrounding animal husbandry?

Environmental Impact:

  • Sustainable Farming Practices: Just Bare Chicken claims to use responsible farming methods. Sustainable farming aims to reduce water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and the chemical footprint, creating a positive impact on the environment and potentially yielding more nutritious chicken.
  • Reduced Antibiotics Use: An important environmental concern is the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment. Just Bare Chicken's no-antibiotics-ever pledge can mitigate this risk.
  • Carbon Footprint: The brand has made commitments to sustainability, such as packaging the chicken in recyclable trays. However, the full scope of their carbon footprint, considering factors like transportation and energy use in production facilities, is not always clear from public data.

Ethical Practices:

  • Animal Welfare: Ethical considerations involve the treatment of the chickens during their life span. According to Just Bare Chicken, their chickens are raised in barns that provide adequate space, though these claims are more reassuring when they also have independent certifications such as the American Humane Certified label.
  • Transparency: The degree of transparency a company offers regarding its farming practices can be indicative of its ethical standards. Just Bare Chicken provides traceability, allowing consumers to learn about the specific family farms where the chickens were raised.
  • Worker Rights: The ethical treatment of workers in the poultry industry is another consideration. While Just Bare Chicken focuses primarily on its product and consumer health, less information is often available about labor conditions and practices.

Considering the complex implications of these environmental and ethical factors is crucial for consumers who are making informed choices. While Just Bare Chicken does take several steps towards environmental sustainability and ethical sourcing, it's always wise for consumers to look for third-party certifications, comprehensive sustainability reports, and additional evidence to support any brand's claims.

Experts in the field of sustainable food systems suggest that while individual brands can make positive strides, widespread change may rely on more robust industry-wide shifts towards transparency and accountability in environmental and ethical practices.1 Looking at the larger picture and supporting policy changes can have a more substantial impact on creating a food system that promotes health, sustainability, and ethical stewardship.

Note: It's important to stay updated on current research and reports. The above considerations are subject to change as new information becomes available or as Just Bare Chicken adapts its practices.

1. "Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City", T. Lang, Sustainable City & Society, 2016.

Comparison with Conventional and Organic Chicken Options

When evaluating whether Just Bare Chicken is bad for you, it’s important to compare it with conventional and organic chicken options commonly available on the market. Let's explore these differences in terms of three key aspects: farming practices, nutritional content, and potential health impacts.

Farming Practices

Conventional chicken is often raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where they may be given antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease, and growth hormones to increase their size. These practices are a concern for many consumers due to the potential for antibiotic resistance and hormone disruption.

In contrast, Just Bare Chicken prides itself on raising chickens with "No Antibiotics - Ever" and states that their chickens are fed a vegetable and grain diet, with no added hormones, which is in compliance with federal regulations that prohibit the use of hormones in poultry. Organic chicken, certified by the USDA, similarly must meet strict guidelines that include no antibiotics, organic feed, and access to the outdoors.

Nutritional Content

  1. Protein Content: All three chicken options are excellent sources of lean protein. However, the quality of feed and overall health of the chicken can influence the amino acid profile and protein bioavailability.
  2. Fats: Depending on the diet and living conditions, the fat content, especially the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, can vary among these chicken options. Generally, chickens with outdoor access and a varied diet may offer a more favorable fatty acid profile.
  3. Antioxidants and Nutrients: Organic and higher welfare chickens may have slightly higher levels of certain nutrients such as antioxidants, but this can vary widely and is influenced by many factors including the specific diet they are fed.

Potential Health Impacts

The use of antibiotics in conventional chicken has been associated with the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can pose a significant public health risk. By choosing Just Bare Chicken or organic chicken, consumers may reduce their exposure to such bacteria. Furthermore, by avoiding the consumption of chickens treated with growth hormones, which is a concern in conventional chicken production, individuals may mitigate potential negative health effects associated with hormone ingestion, although it is important to note that growth hormones are illegal for use in poultry in the United States and no chicken sold in the U.S., whether conventional or organic, should contain added hormones.

Ultimately, Just Bare Chicken appears to be more aligned with organic chicken in terms of farming practices and implied health benefits compared to conventional chicken. However, it's worth noting the personal and environmental health implications of each. Scientific literature continues to investigate the nuances of how chicken farming practices affect human health, such as a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which explored nutritional differences in meat based on production systems.

Choosing between conventional, Just Bare, or organic chicken can be influenced by factors such as budget, ethical concerns, and personal health goals. Therefore, it's crucial to understand not only the direct health implications of the chicken you consume but also the broader impact of its production methods on public health and the environment.

Frequently asked questions

Individuals with dietary restrictions or allergies should be cautious with processed Just Bare Chicken products that contain vague ingredient descriptions like 'natural flavorings.' While unprocessed Just Bare Chicken does not have additives and is safe for most individuals, reading labels on processed variants is crucial for those with sensitivities to identify potential allergens.

Just Bare Chicken has taken some environmental sustainability steps with its packaging, such as using recyclable trays. While packaging choices contribute to the overall environmental footprint, consumers should also consider the broader impact of the production process, including transportation, energy use, and farming practices, when assessing a brand's commitment to sustainability.

The 'No Antibiotics - Ever' (NAE) label indicates that Just Bare Chicken has not been given antibiotics at any stage of its lifecycle, which can reduce consumer exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is a significant public health benefit as it helps preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for treating human infections by minimizing the contribution to antibiotic resistance.

Just Bare Chicken is marketed as being antibiotic-free and raised on a vegetable diet, which may appeal to consumers looking for healthier poultry options. Nutritional differences between conventional and Just Bare Chicken may be minimal regarding macronutrients. Still, Just Bare's practices align more closely with organic farming, which can lead to a slightly higher content of certain nutrients and a more favorable balance of omega fatty acids, depending on the chicken's diet and outdoor access.

Ask a question about Just Bare Chicken and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Ingredients to be aware of

  • sodium phosphates
  • natural flavorings
  • gmos in feed


  • high-quality protein
  • minimal fat
  • no antibiotics
  • no added hormones
  • minimally processed

Healthier alternatives

  • organic chicken
  • chicken with outdoor access
  • avoid processed chicken products

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Fresh Chicken Breast Fillets

  • 100% Natural
  • Boneless & Skinless
  • Protein-rich
  • Versatile cooking use
  • Minimally processed
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-15-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-15-2024

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